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Chapter 2 Alterations
"Iíll just have to make the best of this," Pervinca sighed, running her hands down the length of the skirt, "But I think Iím going to have to hem it a bit or it will be too long. What do you think, Pearl?"
"I think you should fold it and try to make a hat of it," Pippin responded.
"You are not Pearl," Pervinca declared.
"Also, you arenít helping very much, Pippin," Pearl said. "You know, you may find yourself in a similar situation some day. Father has some perfectly dreadful looking jackets and one day you just might grow into them."
Pippinís eyes widened. "Iíve seen those jackets. For once, I really hope I donít grow much."
"Well, if you want to get any help later on, then you should be nice to Pervinca. After all, she is the seamstress in this family and you might need a bit of help at some point."
"He doesnít care that I shall look like a fool," Pervinca said in an overly dramatic tone.
"I do too, Vince. Iím sorry," Pippin said and he genuinely was. Pippin could be the very devil at times but he did love his sisters dearly, even Pervinca. "What can I do to help?"
Pervinca and Pearl turned to each other and smiled.
"Oops!" Pippin knew he was in trouble from the looks on their faces. Just how much trouble remained to be seen.
Frodo managed to avoid the waistcoat during the wagon ride to Tuckborough. He, with Merryís help, convinced Bilbo that the dust from the road might ruin it; therefore he shouldnít wear the waistcoat to travel in. At least no one in Hobbiton would see him in it. Who was he kidding? There would be hobbits from all over the Shire at the Tookís party.
"So, do you suppose Estella Bolger will be coming?" Merry asked trying to sound casual.
"Oh, I suppose she might, but what will you do about Fredergar?" Frodo asked. "You know he isnít fond of the idea of you spending time with his little sister."
"I know and heís supposed to be my friend. Wonder why he doesnít want me to talk to Estella?" Merry frowned.
"Because heís your friend and heís seen you with lasses before," Frodo grinned. "After all, she is his sister."
"I guess so. Still, I do kind of fancy her. But maybe there will be some other lasses that are whatís the word, buxom maybe?" Merry smiled.
"Yes, that would be the word," Bilbo sighed. Young hobbit lads were quite silly at this age. Merry would probably do something quite unfortunate at this party if not watched closely. Frodo was a fine lad, but there was also a chance that he would do something silly too. Besides, when the lasses got a taste of the Baggins charm and a look at that waistcoat, Frodo would have to run to stay ahead of his female admirers.
Frodo laughed at Merry. "So you want a lass with a bit of bounce?"
Merry grinned. "More than a bit if possible. Iíd like a lass with a good solid waist and one that fills out her frock nicely. I donít want to spend the night dancing with someone built like a walking stick."
"I suspect that you shall find a willing partner or two," Frodo said.
"This isnít fair, you know," Pippin objected.
"Just hold still while we hem this thing," Pearl mumbled, her mouth full of pins.
Poor Pippin was standing on top of a foot stool in the middle of the room in Pervincaís ugly dress. He had been drafted as dress makerís dummy and this wasnít the first time. His sisters were always doing stuff like this to him. Why oh why did he have so many sisters? Three was far too many and all of them were older and much pushier. It just wasnít fair.
"Yes, hold still, Pippin or this will take longer," Pervinca warned. "It is very lucky that you are nearly the same size as me."
"Lucky for who?" Pippin asked, folding his arms across his chest.
"Put your arms down to your sides. It changes the length of the dress when you do that," Pervinca ordered. She was always giving orders. Pippin dropped his arms and sighed.
"Maybe I will take the waist in a bit," Pervinca said. She grinned at her little brother who looked quite silly in the red frock. She would look almost as silly but at least she will fill out the top of the bodice. "Pippin, you simply have no hips."
"Iím not supposed to! Iím a lad, remember?" He hoped they did remember. Sometimes when they were all here for weeks on end and his sisters were his only company, he had trouble convincing them that he didnít like some of the things that they did. He never should have let them talk him into this!
"What on earth are you doing in here?" Pimpernel laughed as she came in.
"Shut the door," Pippin frowned, turning slightly pink with embarrassment at having yet another sister see him in Vinceís dress.
"Oh, Pippin, you look darling!" Nell purred.
"I do not," Pippin said folding his arms again and getting a chorus of "Pippin put your arms down!" From Pearl and Pervinca.
There he stood in a room full of sisters in a bright red frock with a very itchy collar and a skirt that flounced all around even when he stood still. They had insisted that he remove his shirt and then once they had put the dress on over his head, they had demanded his trousers! He found that he was a bit cool as the air moved under the skirt. How did lasses wear these things?
"Arenít we about through?" Pippin demanded. He was tired of standing still.
"No, we are not," Pervinca said, sternly. "I have decided to take it in a bit here in the back."
"Careful, Pervinca, you know you arenít as thin as Pippin. You might get it too tight," Nell warned.
"Yes, be careful, Vince. I think itís tight enough," Pippin put in.
"What do you know about frocks, Pippin?" Pervinca asked.
"Well, a wee bit more than I want to," Pippin sighed, looking down at the dress.
"All those dots!" Nell said, shaking her head ruefully.
"Yes and I canít do anything about them," Pervinca sighed.
"Well, all of you had better get a move on as it is getting rather late and the guests will arrive soon," Nell said. "That was what I came in here to tell you but I was mesmerized by Pippinís beauty and unable to think straight."
The lasses laughed and Pippin fidgeted and turned bright red. "Thatís not funny, Nell."
"Pervinca, if you donít need me, I think I will go and get ready then," Pearl said.
"Iíll be fine," Pervinca assured her older sister.
"Oy, I might want to get ready," Pippin reminded them.
"You are a lad. It takes you almost no time to get ready," Nell said as she and Pearl headed for the door and out into the hall.
"If Iím a lad, then why am I wearing this frock?" Pippin moaned.
"You said you would help, now hold still," Pervinca said. As she was behind him, Pippin could not see the evil grin on his older sisterís face.
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